Press Release: Enjoy a creative Easter break

Get away this Easter holiday for a short break and learn a new creative skill or develop an existing one. West Dean College is located within the stunning South Downs landscape and offers a relaxing and inspiring atmosphere. Learn from expert tutors in professional workshops as you explore your creativity, and enjoy good food and a friendly environment. Short course students have access to the award-winning West Dean Gardens during their stay, and the displays of over 500,000 naturalized spring bulbs.

You can get outside and enjoy walking while you develop and 'eye' for seeing the potential for a good photograph and learn the basics of composition. Only a digital camera and a little technical know-how are necessary for this course. Studio time will allow for theory and review of your images. Walking with a camera - photography techniques Stephen Walby (25 - 27 March Weekend £232 Beginners/Weekend).

Get ready for summer in an afternoon, learning fun gardening tips and techniques with author Andy Vernon. Andy will share his passion and knowledge in a talk and demonstration, celebrating the colourful and dramatic dahlia. Discover the best plant for different garden situations, pots, patios, balconies and mixed borders as well as unusual heritage and rare varieties. Delight in dahlias (26 March Garden Talk 2 - 3.30pm £25 Suitable for all).

Enjoy the fascinating details of avian form, feathers, wings, eggs and nests. Create a watercolour composition with examples from hawk, game, garden and hedgerow birds as you learn dry brush techniques, weaving fine texture and achieving subtle colour. Feather and nest - drybrush watercolour painting with Suzanne Balchin (27 March - 1 April Five Days £519 Suitable for all).

Learn versatile hand embroidery techniques and work with a variety of threads, stitch patterns and beautiful beads to make into a cushion, bag or box-top. Canvaswork with bead embellishment with Shelley Cox (29 March - 1 April Three Days £325 Suitable for all).

Work in the college forge to undertake Creative blacksmithing projects while learning and extending your blacksmithing techniques. In this energetic and active course, you can develop your own ideas and work towards completing your unique project. Bring outline ideas for discussion. Tutor Andrew Smith (30 March to 3 April Four Days £513 Suitable for all).


Treat a friend or loved one with a gift voucher for £10, £25, £50 or £100, which can be used as full or part payment towards a short course. Email [email protected].


If you are new to West Dean you are entitled to a 10% discount on the cost of course fees for your first booking (telephone bookings only) 01243 818300.


Wake up to beautiful views over the Sussex Downs in the stately splendour of a country mansion. The bedrooms are a mixture of contemporary and traditional styling. From £102 per person for 2 nights (twin occupancy).


To view the digital brochure or to book a place visit e-mail [email protected]


Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation which also comprises West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • West Dean College offers over 700 creative short courses every year. To browse the digital brochure visit
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

Media Contact Information

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities, please contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer, +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ